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Ramazan '11 - Recipe 2 - Dahi Baras - Mummy's way

HISTORY BEHIND THIS RECIPE IN MY FAMILY:

My Mother basically put together this recipe of Dahi Baras (lentil dumplings with sweet/spicy yoghurt(dahi)) from combining various recipes along the way. No Eid back home would ever be complete without my mom's famous dahi baras. The great thing about them is that once you have made the baras (dumplings), you can either freeze them or use them to make the dish right away. I will give you the tips on how to freeze them below.

I have to say, its a lot of effort making these but the result is so worth it! I can assure you these dahi baras' are fantastic!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of mash/urad daal
2 cups of greek yoghurt
1/2 tsb of salt
1 tab of sugar
a few drops of pressed garlic juice
Cumin seeds
Chilli powder
Chaat masala
Fresh chopped mint
Fresh chopped coriander
Tamarind paste
Ginger - slivered thin
Onions cut into rings - soaked in water to reduce pungency and then dried before use
Green chilli - sliced
Oil - for deep frying

METHOD

A: TO MAKE THE BARAS:
1. A night before, soak the daal in water (enough to cover the daal) - In the morning, check if the daal lets off a fermented smell. If not, then it's not ready. So leave it for a few more hours and just top up the water a bit in case it's been soaked. It can take up to 1-2 days, depending on the weather.

2. Once the daal is fermented, drain reserved water (but retain this water in case you need to dilute the dall mixture) - grind daal in a food processor until it is of a thick grainy consistency. Add some salt, red chilli and dry roasted cumin seeds to the mixture. This should resemble a thick batter.

3. Now heat enough oil for deep frying the dumplings in a deep saucepan, on medium low heat. When the oil is hot, using a tablespoon drop blobs of the batter into the oil. When the dumplings reach the bottom of the pan, you'll know they are ready.

NB: To use right away: If you wish to use the baras right away, drop the cooked baras into a bowl of cold water. Take out after a few seconds and squeeze the excess water and arrange in serving dish.

To freeze: Omit soaking in water - just take them out of the oil, lay them on a kitchen towel and allow to cool for a bit - freeze. When you are ready to use them, just de-frost and assemble.

B:PREPARE YOGHURT:
4. Whip the yoghurt until it resembles whipped cream. Add 1/2 tsb salt, 1 tab sugar, a few drops of garlic water (the key here is not to make the yoghurt smell to taste too garlicy, its just a hint of garlic that you're after. Hence I use a few drops of garlic juice, not crushed garlic). Pour this on top of the baras. Then decorate with a sprinkling of chaat masala, dry roasted cumin seeds (coarsely crushed by hand), a pinch of red chilli powder, chopped green chilli, mint and coriander. Finally sprinkle slivers of ginger and the previously soaked onion rings and drizzle a little tamarind paste here and there.

5. Serve the dahi baras with extra helping of chaat masala annd chilli/mint/coriander in small bowls.

I promise you - you will adore all this effort!